Most people are under the impression that eating an abundance of fruit is healthy, but here are a few facts that need to be taken into consideration. Fruit and fructose consumption has changed dramatically over the years in both quantity and quality. Traditionally, heirloom varieties of fruit were available for only limited times of the year, and they were picked when ripe and ready to eat.
The Changing Face of Fruit
Over the years, hybridization has created sweeter fruit that contains higher amounts of sugar than traditional types that were eaten by our ancestors. Modern varieties have been developed to ripen after harvest and survive long trips around the country or across the globe.
These developments haven’t helped to improve the nutritional status of fruits, but have instead contributed to the growing amount of sugar consumed in the average diet.
All this excess sugar is a leading cause of addiction, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, adrenal disorders, candida overgrowth and other common degenerative health conditions that plaque our society today.
Fructose, the predominant sugar in fruit, is a highly damaging and addictive natural substance. No culture in history has ever consumed as much sugar as Americans do today. The dangers of this continuing trend are now becoming evident.
Sugar in any form, including the natural, will impair the endocrine system and deplete neurotransmitters in the brain, which results in cravings for more sugar and ultimately addiction. Therefore, fruit can play a significant role in sugar addiction.
Additionally, fructose will increase your hunger hormone called ghrelin and suppress your satiating hormone, leptin, which results in an increase in appetite, cravings for carbs and sugar, and compulsive overeating.
Furthermore, fructose is metabolized to fat significantly faster than all other types of sugar and produces a variety of metabolic waste products and toxins, like uric acid which can result in gout and high blood pressure.
The fructose that is present in fruit is somewhat less potent compared to things like honey, table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, due to its fiber and other nutritional content, but it still needs to be moderated. If you’re consuming fructose in the form of a beverage like fruit juice, this intensities the negative effects even more.
Fruit Juice Vs. Soda
It is often assumed that fruit juice is a healthy beverage option. Although it may be less damaging than soda, juice still contains high amounts of fructose.
Fruit pulp slows down the absorption of sugars when eaten whole. When the pulp is removed to make juice, you quickly consume the amount of sugar in five or six pieces of that fruit.
Research in childhood obesity points to sweetened beverages as a common cause of metabolic issues in children. This includes all forms of sweet drinks, from soda to fruit juice.
Parents have good intentions when they give their babies and young children fruit juice, but the disastrous effects of increased sugar consumption can be seen as metabolic disorders, obesity and rampant tooth decay continue to become more common.
The Deceptive Effect of The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index measures how fast a carbohydrate, like sugar, grain, or starch, converts to sugar. The higher the number is on the Glycemic Index, the faster the food changes into blood glucose and the more damaging it is to your health.
The Glycemic Index only measures glucose, so it does not measure the amount of fructose in the blood. Unfortunately, fructose creates even more damage to your body, causing a variety of metabolic disorders from obesity to type 2 diabetes.
In the past, fruit was a healthier choice because it contained less sugar than it does today and it was consumed seasonally. Since all sorts of fruit are available year round, high amounts of fructose are now eaten on a regular basis. Although it is rich in a variety of nutrients, in order to maintain good health and weight, fruit juice should be avoided completely and the amount of fruit in the diet should be limited.
If you find it impossible to limit your fruit consumption, then you have likely developed an addiction to sugar, which can be addressed with simple changes in diet and lifestyle and nutritional supplementation. You can learn more here.
So the answer to our opening question, Is Fruity Healthy, depends on the type and amount of fruit you are eating. Fruit should be your dessert, not the main meal. It is best consumed with a protein and fat, to slow down its impact on blood sugar, insulin and neurotransmitters.
When you do indulge in fruit, it is best to stick with the low sugar fruits. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries are your healthiest choices as these are the types of fruit that our ancestors ate, followed by peaches, apples, pears and cherries. Reserve the high sugar fruit like bananas, pineapples, grapes, dates and raisins for special occasions.
Resources for, Is Fruit Healthy
Getoff, David. “The Historical Truth about Raw Fruit Consumption.” Real Food Summit. Underground Wellness, n.d. Web. 08 July 2012.
Miller, Abigale, and Khosrow Adeli. “Dietary Fructose and the Metabolic Syndrome.”Current Opinion in Gastroenterology 24.2 (2008): 204-09. Print.
Dennison, Barbara, and Et Al. “Excess Fruit Juice Consumption by Preschool-aged Children Is Associated With Short Stature and Obesity.” Pediatrics 99.1 (1997): 15-22. Print.
Mercola, Joseph, Dr., Fructose Affects Your Brain Very Differently than Glucose
Mercola, Joseph, Dr. , Fructose Spurs Overeating